What does it mean to be apostolic?
SENT SERIES CONTENT
The title Apostle is being used more and more and apostolic is being added to the title of many books, schools, conferences and other resources
But what does it mean and more importantly what does it mean to you?
Questions are often raised, theology discussed, and sadly one of the great titles used in our bibles can become a source of division and disagreement. It is my belief however that understanding what apostolic rather than Apostle means is a key to uniting believers and for every one of us to find our place in a family of ‘sent ones’.
I have written this series of articles/blogs to explore the effect and impact of being apostolic.
Is it an assignment for every believer?
Is being apostolic the nature of one who has the title Apostle, or of everyone who believes in Jesus, and does what he says, goes where he goes, and says what he says?
I want to invite you to a journey, an adventure, an exploration.
The Apostle John recorded that Jesus said, “as the Father has sent (apostled) me, so I send (apostle) you.” Many things have developed in our world since then but is this still a statement that all of us in a relationship with Jesus Christ are sent ones.
There have indeed been many discussions, organisations built around the word, examples of apostles, debates over whether they ended with the 12, and therefore at times divisions because of the use and application of the title ‘Apostle.’
As I have reflected on this I have concluded that when the discussion is focussed on structure or activity, there is a tendency to move away from the very nature and meaning of the words ‘apostle’, ‘apostolic’ and ‘apostleship.’
I therefore began to look at the characteristics of the apostolic, not emphasizing particular activities such as church planting or networks but rather on expressions and outcomes which are biblically connected to Apostles. These are some of the main ones:
* An empowering culture which sends, promotes and celebrates.
* A shared experience of Hope & Joy
* An emphasis on relationship rather than structure
* The demonstration of supernatural power
* An assignment to represent Christ who in turn reveals the Father
* Strengthening & encouraging interactions with each other
* Awareness and value for the unseen realm
* An ongoing relationship with God, who speaks today
* The instinctive confronting of the impossible
* The embracing of mystery
* Building on the foundation of others
* Ongoing encounters with God
* Perseverance that never quits
Of course, there are more and each of these can be further dissected and defined. They are also not exclusive to the apostolic, but if being apostolic is for us all, then we should all embrace these characteristics.
In our quest for the apostolic, these actually become attainable, and each of us can embrace these, and we will therefore be defined as being apostolic, but we have some ground to cover before we will all feel comfortable embracing the description of being apostolic.